FS votes to halt further permit sales to workers

By Lesley Rogers

Controversial topics ranging from NIU vice presidential searches to faculty pay increases and parking on campus were discussed during Wednesday’s Faculty Senate meeting.

NIU President John La Tourette addressed the members of the FS about the acting appointments in the vice president and provost position and the position of vice president for development and alumni relations.

A letter sent out Monday to faculty, in which La Tourette offered solutions to the new position search, was not taken well by some faculty members. La Tourette spoke to FS members in hopes of clarifying his position.

La Tourette urged the members to endorse him in a strictly internal search for a candidate to fill the position of provost.

“The letter was an announcement, an insult,” Robert Suchner, associate professor of sociology said. “I think consulting the faculty on what is going to be a major decision of this sort is what happens at other major universities. I think we should determine the difference between being consulted and being told.”

Heated discussion took place about whether or not the searches for the two positions should remain a campus-wide search or nation-wide search.

“I don’t see how anyone can be opposed of doing a thorough search both internal and external,” Richard Dowen, associate professor of finance said.

La Tourette encouraged the council to expedite the matter of searching for a new provost.

“We need the new provost appointment to be done quickly,” La Tourette said.

FS members disagreed, citing the importance of the position.

“This is one of the most important academic decisions made this year,” Suchner said. “If it takes another meeting, fine.

“The next provost ought to have the approval of the Faculty Senate, for morale if not for anything,” Suchner said.

“We need to express to the president whether or not they would support an external search, asking the president of the Faculty Senate to serve on the search committee,” Dowen said.

After the debate ceased, the FS passed a motion to endorse a nationwide search for both vice presidential positions.

La Tourette also was asked to clarify his recent reference to a 7.1 percent salary increase in the 1993 fiscal year.

“Questions about the origin of the figures I used in the State of the University speech came up,” La Tourette said. “There was some kind of notion that there are some big adjustments to a small number of people.”

La Tourette also noted there were some adjustments due to changes in promotions, and also eased concerns on faculty health care.

David Ripley, professor of leadership and education policy study, reported on the recent meetings of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the IBHE.

“The IBHE is meeting one week from today in Chicago, and the meeting will focus on the separate purpose of each of the 12 public universities,” Ripley said.

“The focus statement reads, ‘Our primary purpose is as an undergraduate institution.'”

FS members were concerned the IBHE had not contacted the universities when appointing the focus statements.

“There has always been a quote ‘focus statement’ which was generated by the IBHE which they passed for their purposes, shaping the statement that they made anyway,” Dowen said.

“The U of I mission is enshrined in legislation. Our mission was given to us by the IBHE,” said Gordon Dorn, professor of art.

La Tourette also discussed matters dealing with the IBHE.

“I think we will be seeing the ‘Q’ dropping out of PQP,” La Tourette said, referring to the IBHE’s Priorities, Quality and Productivity initiative to streamline Illinois’ higher education system.

“We need stability and leadership and a stronger representation of the university in the state and in Springfield,” he said.

Parking was another concern addressed by the FS.

“There are a lot of problems in the world and in terms of world problems, parking on the NIU campus is not one of them,” Dorn said.

“There have been a lot of letters to the editor of The Northern Star, and a lot of student concerns relating to parking. It’s not just a faculty issue,” Dorn said.

The FS passed the motions to call upon the president to immediately halt the further sale of red reserve permits and the sale of blue permits to campus construction workers.

The FS also passed the motion to invite the vice president of Business and Operation, along with the chair of the Campus Parking Committee to the next FS meeting to discuss the parking situation.

“The letter was an announcement, an insult. I think consulting the faculty on what is going to be a major decision of this sort is what happens at other major universities.” Robert Suchner associate professor of sociology